Results from sample virus tests expected in two weeks

Results from sample virus tests expected in two weeks

Nuray Babacan - ANKARA
Results from sample virus tests expected in two weeks

Alamy Photo

The results of the sample tests to be run on 150,000 people across the country are expected to come out between 15 to 20 days.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced earlier this week that Turkey will run those tests to see the extent of the spread of the coronavirus.

PCR and antibody tests will be used to have a clearer picture of the state of the outbreak in the country, the minister noted, adding that those 150,000 people, out of the country’s some 81 million population, have been selected through sampling method.

Teams will be in the field next week to carry out the tests.

Different groups will be selected for the sample tests, based on their age, professions, where they live and people who work in crowded places.

The main criteria as to where most tests should be conducted is the population of the provinces. Accordingly, most of the tests, at least 35,000, will be carried out in Istanbul, the country’s largest city with its around 16 million habitants.

The results of the tests will help policymakers make decisions regarding the normalization phase.

Experts said that depending on the results different policies could be devised for the cities’ densely populated neighborhoods and the neighborhoods on the outskirts.

They stressed that when moving towards normalization, the key point to consider is the immunity rate in a given province. If the immunity rate is around 30 percent among a city’s population, authorities can have more room for maneuver when making decisions. If the immunity rate is low in a city, the rules for preventing the spread of the virus could be tightened.

They expect the results to show that Istanbul has the highest immunity rate among all provinces because of the high number of coronavirus cases there.